Since we had plenty of time before our trip. My cousin and I decided to include Dubai in our itinerary before going to Europe since it’s on the way anyway and we’ll be stopping over, might as well visit the place. So, we decided to spend 2 days in Dubai before proceeding to Europe.

We do need a visa for this. There are actually different types of tourist visas and we got the 96 hour transit one since we’ll only be in Dubai for 48 hours. Since we’re flying with Emirates, they have this program where you can actually apply a visa on their behalf. It’s like they will be your sponsor. I don’t know if this works the same way if Dubai will be your only destination. You can only apply 60 days before your trip since the visa will be valid for only 60 days after issue so keep this in mind.

First step: Book a ticket with Emirates and this would be easy if you sign up online with an account. You don’t have to purchase your ticket online. My cousin purchased her ticket at the Emirates office in Manila but she signed up for an online account first which gives her a frequent flyer number. This earns her points and at least the ticket she bought is also listed on her account.

Second step: Log into your account. On manage booking, look for the option to apply a visa and follow instructions. Note that this won’t be visible or you cannot click this if your travel date is more than 60 days away.

This is from the Emirates website: 

The online visa application service is available for residents of many countries around the world: find a list of eligible countries here. Applicants’ passports must have at least six months’ validity as of their date of travel to Dubai.

This service is only available to passengers with a confirmed Emirates booking where an Emirates eticket has already been issued and the flight itinerary already includes the desired time in Dubai. Note that any itineraries including any flights to or from Dubai on other carriers are not eligible for the online visa service. 

A minimum of four international working days prior to arrival in Dubai is required, however Emirates does recommend that online applications are made as early as possible. Visas issued through this service are available for a period of stay in Dubai of 96 hours or 30 days.

Third step: Upload documents. I only uploaded my passport info page and a photo. It is optional to submit work or bank documents but I didn’t. You have to put in your hotel information as we already booked one since they need your address in Dubai. This is not really set on stone. We actually changed our hotel since we found a better deal online and we wanted to stay in Deira which is closer to the airport.

Fourth step: Payment. You must have a credit card ready.

There are three types of visas available and the cost:

Visa type Validity Cost Extensions
96-hour 4 days Approximately USD 55 Non-extendable
Tourist Maximum 30 days Approximately USD 75 Yes, for an additional 30 days at approximately USD 195
Visit (not applicable online and for some markets) Maximum 90 days Approximately USD 315 Non-extendable

Fourth step: After four days, the visa was emailed to us. We were instructed to print it and present it in Dubai. I didn’t really expect it to be a printout but it was which is okay.
dubai visa pixelated At the Dubai airport, we just presented this along with our passport. He stamped this one and also our passports. They took our pictures and prints and didn’t really ask anything else.

I hope this somehow helped you in any way. I was searching for a blog post about applying for a visa online through Emirates but I couldn’t find one so I thought I should write this. :)